Try This: A Guest Room Cart!

Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via abeautifulmess.comThis past year we’ve had LOTS of guests in our home. Halfway through the year I had the idea to start filling a little basket with snacks and treats as a fun little “welcome” in the guest room. I had SO much fun filling the basket each time that one day it dawned on me that we could make a little hotel-style cart with all of those little travel essentials that are so annoying to leave at home! Almost every time I travel, I forget either my toothbrush or razor and end up running to a Walgreen’s or begging for one at the hotel’s front desk.

So I found this cart at a flea market, gave it a fresh coat of paint and filled it with all the things that would make me feel at home when traveling…and then some! I added snacks (healthy and junky!), mini-sized toiletries, water, fresh towels and a small bouquet of flowers. 🙂

Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Create a fun cart for overnight guests with snacks and extra toiletries! via Other ideas to personalize your guest room cart: A favorite book, pens and blank notepads, a pretty candle, gum, a list of places you love in your city (for those guests who have brought a car), a disposable camera and a handwritten welcome! ♥ Basically, anything you’ve ever kicked yourself for forgetting while traveling is an awesome idea.

EDIT: The WiFi password! Thanks for reminding me—you guys are so smart!

I’m so excited about this project because it was so easy. And I think it will make our guests feel special! It’s the little things, you know? xo. Elsie

  • I just got that same cart at an estate sale with the plans of repainting it for storage in my office! Can’t wait to work on it!

  • This is such a lovely idea for guests! I really loved the liquor cart from a few months back, too, and I remodeled my own since. It’s such a wonderful, unique piece in my apartment.

  • This is such a fantastic idea! I need to keep this one in the back of my mind when I have my own place!


  • Shut up! That is freaking amazing! I totally want to come spend the night and test it out!!

  • I LOVE this idea! When I move into an apartment that allows for a guest room I’m stealing this idea!

  • I’d love to have one of these once we move into a bigger house. Our spare room is current,y our wardrobe! Love this idea!!

    Lulu xx

  • What a fantastic idea! Your guests are so lucky! That metal tiered cart is on my must-find thrift store list, so I’m hoping I will snag one soon.

    Following you on Bloglovin’

  • This is such a lovely idea! I definitely need to do something with my guest room – after I have done my own room that is!!

  • Can I come and stay at your house? This is such an amazing idea!


  • What a cute idea. I usually save the hotel samples I steal for guests but I love this.

  • I love this idea, but my guest room is super tiny, so i may have to stick with just the basket idea.

  • Ummm YES this would be amazing if it were in every guest room I stayed in!!!


  • Perfect timing. Had been looking for a chest of drawers for when my Dad visits us in Sydney from the UK next month.

    This would be so much sweeter. Awesome, thoughtful idea – thank you!


  • This is so adorable! I don’t have a guest room but I will sure buy one for my own bedroom. 🙂 I am going to start a fertility treatment tomorrow so I have to treat myself when not feeling so well. This is a great idea, thanks!

  • this is the cutest idea!
    now to move into a house with a spare bedroom so our guests don’t have to sleep on our sofabed 😉
    Cheray x

  • So very thoughtful. I have wanted to do something similar, mostly toiletries, towels, books, bottled water…that sort of thing…for our guest room. I thought of putting out a basket but this card idea is so convenient, stylish, and easy to fill with more stuff if needed. And swap out stuff. Great idea. You have some lucky guests!

  • Love this! I have a moderate sized house, but it only has two bedrooms! Tho’ I designed it so I have rooms that can double as bedrooms when needed, especially when several family members show up. This would be great, as it could just be wheeled around to the room I need it in! Or parked at the end of the hall, accessible to everyone! I think I’d also add a stack of extra towels and wash cloths.

  • Such a gracious way to welcome guests, thanx for sharing! I have always had fresh flowers in the room, and a linen spray for freshening the sheets on the night stand; and a basket of bath salts/fizzies/soaps/moisturizers, etc. in the bathroom…but I’m definitely going to add snacks to the mix!

  • This is such a lovely, cute idea 🙂 I would definitely consider doing something like this when I get my own house!

  • I liove this idea so so much and think I might do it! I even saw the perfect cart at ikea today.

  • I have always wanted a little cart like this on which to keep all my tea things. Load it up in the kitchen with hot water, tea pots, cups and treats and then roll on in to the living room or outside for tea time!

    I hope you also give a list a favorite places in your city to your guests who lack a car. They will want to explore too!

  • This is suchhhhhh a fun idea!! You must have a blast putting this together for your guests each time!


  • Great idea! Our basement is essential “Hotel Moreno” and so we like to leave little things for our guests, too. Stock the fridge with bottles of water and leave out extra toiletries and things, but…the snacks! This is such a cute way to do it.

    The Rambling Fangirl

  • this summer we couchsurfed around OH visiting as many friends as possible in our time there. One set of friends set up their spare coffee maker and some bottled water in the room for us and we thought it was the sweetest thing. This whole guest cart would have blown us away!

  • Such a great idea! I’d love this if I was a guest. Thank you for sharing!


  • Oh my goodness. You’re adorable. What a wonderful idea! So loving and sweet.

  • We have a guest shelf in our bathroom, complete with toiletries, their own set of towels, and an open invite to the kitchen. If we ever have a dedicated guest bedroom (that isn’t also my sewing room, closet, and primping at the vanity room) I will totally do this!

  • Oh, I love this! I usually put toiletries in the bathroom, but this is great!

  • note: only do this for guests who you actually like and you want to return for another visit 🙂

  • Hah, yes, with wifi password I am a happy guest. 🙂 It’s such a lovely idea, hopefully one day I will have a home big enough to have a separate guest room. Until then the rule – you can take anything from the fridge rule applies. However, I read once somewhere that it’s a good idea to collect all make-up etc samplers from mags and keep them in a neat basket in a bathroom for guests, so if they forgot sth they can have some. xx

  • That is SO cute!! 🙂 I’m definitely going to do that the next time we have overnight guests. 🙂

  • This is so sweet! So nice of you to provide such lovingly curated goodies for your guests!

    Shared them at my blog for my readers too! Nice!

  • This is a great idea. I can just picture my guest room cart filled with all sorts of goodies. I like the idea of having a candle, wifi password, pen and pad. Thanks for the tips.

  • Absolutely love this idea it’s so cute and fun! You really are so creative 🙂


  • This is such a fantastic idea. I want to do this in my spare room. But I’ll have to put little baskets on a high shelf… or the beagles will get into the snacks 😉

  • This is a fun idea, I save all my hotel room minis and do the same thing when people stay at Christmas. I like the idea of making a tailored basket for each house guest.

    I have read this blog for years and love it but I have to say I have not enjoyed the new ad that appears above the photo of you two great ladies. Often the ad/image detracts from the beautifully put together and well designed site you have. I still love the content and hope that the feedback has not caused any offence.

    Love you both, you rock

  • Great idea! I used to work as a hotel receptionist, so in our spare room I put together a little folder like we would have in the hotel. I included tips on local cafes/bars we liked + directions, maps of the city, flyers and vouchers. I also added a few magazines, towels, chocolates on pillows …and a mini-bar! Maybe a little too far, but fun 🙂

  • nice idea, snack and drink heaven for every guest!
    (: Anna

  • Oh gosh that’s so cute idea !
    Love this, you must be the perfect host !

  • What a fantastic idea! I love the way you can personalise it too.

  • this is a very clever idea. I mean all of us stack all this stuff on the dining table, coffee table, pantry but whats the fun if the guests cant pick up and eat comfortably..well this is an amazing amazing idea. i’d love to have this cart in my room if I were someone’s guest.

  • Omg I love this! I wish I had room in my guest room/office to do that!! I wanna stay at your house! <3 Eryn

  • This is probably the most genius idea that I’ve found in a long time. I’m a victim of forgetting things on vacation, and this has to be the greatest solution! Love the little jars and vintage wire baskets, they look so cute!

    Lubna | ELLE VOX

  • Cool idea !
    New post:
    Love from Paris

  • This is such an amazing idea! Adding those flowers is such a beautiful touch too! xxx

  • Such a thoughtful idea and a super cute way to present it. Gorgeous!

  • I love this idea – may I ask if I can use it in my blog – I am writing at the moment about homemade decor and this would be great to add – please let me know if you wouldn’t mind – in fact I would love you to guest on the blog with this???? Tracy

  • omg totally loving this ideaaaaa.
    we rarely have guests over, plus we don’t even have a guest room. but when I do, I’m totally remembering this.

    brilliant, Elsie 🙂

  • This is a really cute idea! Something else that could be a fun addition would be a guest book! I have always loved looking through the guest book when I stay at a Bed & Breakfast.

  • This is such an awesome idea! I’m so going to try something like this in the house we’re building, we’ll have a guest room for the first time ever, and I’m super excited to be able to easily have people stay over! 🙂

  • Love this so much! What a wonderful way to be a great host!
    thanks for the fabulous idea 🙂

    { }

  • Emily,
    These baskets are from a Flea Market. You can find similar new ones on Amazon, just search “locket baskets”.

  • What a great idea!!!!! Another idea would be to fill an apothecary jar with samples and hotel toileteries and leave it in the bathroom for use by guests!

  • Excellent!! Definitely going to try this. So thoughtful and welcoming to a guest.

  • Lovely idea! But if I were to be the guest receiving this basket I would die in shame for eating all the candy and snacks 🙂

  • I love all your cute cart ideas! At this point in life I’m still dreaming of space for just one little ol bar cart…someday I’ll find room for them all!

  • This is a very fun idea! With a cart like this I would love to come stay in your guest room. Mostly just to eat the snacks. 🙂

  • Dija,
    We did paint the cart, yes. But since we’ve done that lots of times before I didn’t write instructions. We used Kilz primer and white Krylon spray paint.

    Thanks so much!!! 🙂 Elsie

  • Madeline,
    The baskets are vintage (I have found new ones on Amazon for other rooms that are similar, just more shiny! search “locker baskets”) and the jars are actually from Walmart!
    Thanks so much! xo- Elsie

  • This is ridiculously cute, and now I’m sad that I never have overnight guests!

  • I fricking love this! Way better than a mint on the pillow! 🙂

    Turquoise Flamingo

  • OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is the cutest sweetest idea I’ve ever seen! It’s one of your really simple suggestions, but I think its one of my favorites from y’all so far!

    Hospitality is something a lot of people only extend to people they don’t know as well, but I think it would be great to personalize these for the guests who are coming if you know them well. Just a, “hey I was thinking about you and really want you to be comfortable during your stay.” Things like that mean a lot!

  • What a lovely idea…sometimes I have baskets for when my children’s friends come over for the night. They have their toothbrush, a tooth-paste, and deodorant as well as a wash cloth.

    The cart idea is great for when extended family come over for more than a weekend…I love it!

  • That’s such a cool idea! Once we have a house again (or a guest room) I should do this and then, start inviting people to stay over. 🙂

  • This is such a sweet idea! The airbnb homes should have a version of this. That would get you great reviews, for sure!

  • Love this idea and can’t wait to do it! Now I’m actually excited for the in-laws to come visit!

  • Oh wowwww I love that you do this for your guests! It is such a cute, fun, and thoughtful idea. 😀 I want to try this in the future when we have someone staying over, hehe.

  • I LOVE that cart. This is such an amazing idea, but my place is so teeny tiny, it may have to be a guest wire basket. Love the vintage ones you used!

  • absolutely fantastic idea! I like that you can easily stow it away in a storage closet between visits 🙂

  • This is incredibly cool. I would feel so special if someone took the time to do this for me! Such a fantastic idea!!

  • I absolutely cannot wait to have a guestroom and this is one of the main reasons — besides my guests being more comfortable, of course!

  • I can’t even begin to put into words how much I love this. Currently any guests we have get the living room as their bedroom but I think this bar cart made into a guest cart would make it so much more cozy!

  • such a genius idea! now all I need is a guest room and guests to stay over.

    -Kristin Marie from

  • Oh what a cute idea! Thanks for sharing it. Hope I’ll have a home with lot of space where I can realise all the things, some day.

    Best wishes,

    Sarah from

  • Elsie, can I ask where the glass jars and wire baskets are from? They look vintage….

    Thank you! xoxo

  • This is SUCH a good idea. I’m moving soon, so this is going on the to-do/DIY list now! Thanks. 🙂


  • Very interesting. This reminds me IKEA for some reason. Have you ladies ever thought about doing posts on IKEA hacks? I’m sure your readers would love it (I know I would).

  • This is ridiculously clever. I thought I was hot stuff for getting the nice smelling soap to put in the guest bath! Haha! Thanks for sharing the genius!

  • OMG This is an amazing idea. I love it! What a way to make guests feel welcomed and appreciated. Super cute looking too. I might just have to do this.

  • Love this idea!!!!! Such a great way to keep guests comfortable and make them feel at home!

    x Sara from

  • uhm…..GENIUS!!!!3
    this is awesome!
    and you can personalize it your way but still provide for others!

    this is such a sweet idea i tell ya’!
    so simple but yet….i wouldve honestly never thought about it (mostly because i dont have guest space nor guest space.
    but still!!!

  • Awwww, this is super sweet. I would love to be greeted with a goodie cart during a stay in a friend’s guest room!

  • I love so many ideas that you have posted over the years, and this one ranks among my favorites. I just put out pretty “Guest” wooden tooth brushes in y house and felt pretty good about it, but this totally ups the ante.

  • I want to stay at your house! That is the best idea! I love how you can tailor it for each guest. How fun would it be to get to where you’re going and find that waiting for you? Answer: A lot of fun! Great idea:)

  • I love this! I can’t wait to have a guest room someday, it’s going to be the best one.

  • Love it! Another great idea I heard recently: Include a card with your wifi password on it. Access to working internet is pretty much a necessity, of course. 😉

  • What a wonderful idea! And you know what? I can do this for myself as a gift for being awesome on a monthly basis!! Yup, i think I’m going to do that. 😀

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